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Overlooking the Adriatic Sea until a relatively recent past, it then became entirely surrounded by lagoon waters following the construction of the north dam of the Lido of Venice and the formation of what is now called Punta Sabbioni, Sant'Erasmo is the largest of the islands of the Northern Lagoon and the second largest considering the entire lagoon, second only to the Lido of Venice: its length is about 4 Km while the width varies from 500 to 900 meters.

It is known today also with the name Orto di Venezia thanks to its important agri-food activity, testimony of a more extensive production past during the Serenissima, which thanks to its mixed soil of sand and clay allows the cultivation of fresh vegetables recognized for their characteristic goodness and excellent organoleptic value, including the specialty of the Violet Artichoke, the castraure (the apical fruit of the artichoke plant that is picked first, giving space to the subsequent production of the artichokes), and the sparesée (green asparagus with a taste intense).

Already in the 16th century Francesco Sansovino wrote, in his Venetia, a very noble and singular city:

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